Report: New chairman and new alliances in Israeli Labor and Meretz party

Following the poor results in April’s parliament elections, both Israeli Labor and Meretz Party voted for new chairmen to lead the parties. Amir Peretz received 47% of the votes and will lead the party for the second time. Peretz lead the party from 2005 to 2007 and served as Minister of Defense, deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Environmental Protection. Stav Shaffir and Itzik Shmuli, who joined the Labor after the social protests in 2011, received 27% and 26% respectively.

Just before the Labor party, Meretz party committee has elected Horowitz, with 81% of the committee members participating in the vote. Horowitz is an Israeli journalist, a Haaretz columnist, and a politician who has served as a two-term Knesset member for Meretz in the past. Horowitz succeeds Tamar Zandberg and is supported by Ilan Gilon.

Peretz and Horowitz held talks on the question of joining their lists to run together for the upcoming elections in September. They debated joint challenges and how to fight for social justice, peace and equality, finally deciding to run separately. Peretz is running the Labor Party together with Orly Levi-Abekasis’ Gesher party. Meretz joined Ehud Barak’s Democratic Union, including Stav Shaffir, who has switched camps. Latest polls indicate Labor-Gesher could win 5 seats, the Democratic Union is expected to win 7 seats, while Likud and Blue and White both could win 30 seats in the Knesset.